Egg-stra!! Egg-stra!!

Mandy Woelfl

Beginning Reading



 Children need to learn that letters have corresponding sounds to better understand our language and how it works.  Short vowel sounds are often more difficult to recognize and use effectively, such as the vowel e=/e/.  This lesson looks at the basics of this particular vowel and the vocal gesture that’s required to make the sound.  This lesson will also focus on words that contain the short vowel e=/e/ sound and other words that do not contain it. 


-enough eggs for each child and yourself and some extras for practice words

-words on each egg that either do or don't have the e=/e/ correspondence and then a picture to match that word.

-sauce pan (burner)


-die-paste/food coloring of different colors

-empty egg cartons

-copies of Red Gets Fed

-word wall with e=/e/ correspondence


-primary paper


-assessment worksheet-have the sentence TED GETS TO SNACK ON EXCELLENT ELEPHANT EVERY DAY AT TEN.

-three baskets


1.  Introduce this lesson by saying that our language has a special way of finding out which letter stands for which sounds.   Today we are going to look at a the letter e which makes a sound that we say all the time and we are going to learn together some words that have that sound the letter e makes.

2.  Have you ever opened a door very slowly and it sounds like a creaky or haunted house-type door?  The sound you hear is E-e-e-e-e-e-e!  That is actually the sound that the letter e makes, the letter we are learning today.  The letter ‘e’ makes that noise in certain words and I am going to show you some of those words.  Listen for it in the word elephant, ‘e-e-e-e-e-lephant.

3.  Let’s try a tongue twister with some of these sounds! Every excellent elephant eats chicken eggs. Ok, everybody say it together... Now when we say it, everybody get your creaky doors ready, and stretch out the short vowel e=/e/....  Good job!! This time let’s break the letter e off the words and stretch it out. /e/ very, /e/ xcellent, /e/ lephant, /e/ njoys, chick /e/ n, /e/ ggs.
  Wonderful!  Let's write this tongue twister on our primary paper.

4. “Now we are going to play a really fun game with our new letter- everyone do your creaky door again ‘e-e-e-e-e...’ Good.  Now, there is a basket in the back of the room filled with eggs.  When I call on your group, you may go to pick up an egg from the basket and take it back to your seat.
(Teacher grabs one as well).

5.  After all the students are seated, continue explaining the game.  Some of us have chosen good eggs, and some have chosen bad eggs.  The good eggs are the ones with words and picture on them with the creaky door e sound.  The bad eggs are words and pictures without the creaky door e sound.  Everyone look at your word and picture on your egg. You need to decide whether your egg is a good egg or a bad egg. Ok, the word on my egg is.... It does/does not have the /e/ sound in it, so I’ll put it in the good/bad egg basket (have two baskets up front).  Now, each of you decide which basket your egg should go in (make sure the baskets are labeled).  Choose students one at a time to share his/her word with the class and place it in the correct basket.  You all did a great job!  Now let’s try our tongue twister one more time: every excellent elephant eats chicken eggs. Good, this time snap your fingers each time you hear /e/ sound Read each word slowly, e-e-e-very e-e-e-xcellent e-e-e-lephant e-e-e-njoys chick-e-e-e-n e-e-e-ggs.

6.  Have the entire class read the words that correspond to the short e sound, that are on the wall.  Have the class decide which words on the word wall do not have the e=/e/ correspondence. 

7.  Read the book Red Gets Fed to the children.  (Have some kind of book that has the e=/e/ correspondence).  Kids, I want you to snap your fingers when you hear the short e sound /e/ as I read this book.

8.  For the assessment worksheets, have about four or five sentences with e=/e/ correspondences on them and have the children circle the words that have that correspondence in them.  This will help determining whether or not they understand the short e correspondence.


Eldridge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Ohio: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1995. (149). (On how to make hard boiled, dyed eggs)

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